Chris Eubank Jr. desperately wants to correct the public’s perception of himself.
The veteran middleweight from Brighton, England, took a reputational hit earlier this year when he suffered a fourth-round stoppage loss to Liam Smith at AO Arena in Manchester.
In the leadup to their fight, Eubank, frequently haughty, talked down to Smith, a longtime 154-pounder known for his workmanlike conduct inside the ring, suggesting that he would not need to be at full strength to defeat him.
Now he feels he has no choice but to try and convince the public that what happened in January was an aberration.
“It’s the one that I needed, not that I one that I wanted,” Eubank said of his rematch with Smith in an interview with BBC 5 Live Boxing. “I can’t let this man walk through life for the rest of his life saying that he beat me. I have to right that wrong. I have to even the score. I have the show the people that I am the better fighter. I know I’m the better fighter. But most of the people now think Liam Smith is the better fighter. I can’t live with that.”
Eubank rejects the argument that he was “out on his feet” when the referee waived off the fight in the fourth round against Smith.
“I know I’m a better fighter than this guy and he just has a win over me that’s going to be on my record for the rest of my life,” Eubank continued. “It’s not like I went in there and he battered me for four rounds and knocked me out. In my opinion I dominated the first three rounds and then I got caught. So, I’m annoyed. I need to avenge that loss. I need to get my get back.”
The rematch has been postponed twice, with their second date of July 1 being ruled out after Smith suffered a training injury. BOXXER, who promote Smith, are in the process of setting down a new date.
At the same time, promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom is attempting to revive a deal for Eubank to face unbeaten welterweight Conor Benn. Their fight fell apart last October when Benn tested positive for a banned substance.
Sean Nam is the author of the forthcoming book Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.